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Jere Goyan, 76; FDA chief and UCSF dean sought wider role for pharmacists in patient care

January 26, 2007|Jocelyn Y. Stewart | Times Staff Writer

The printed information that is routinely packaged with prescription drugs sold in the United States had its beginnings with Jere Goyan, the first pharmacist to head the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and former dean of the UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy.

As an educator, Goyan had long argued that patients should be informed about the drugs they take. As FDA commissioner from October 1979 to January 1981, he sought to make the practice of supplying information mandatory. The effort met with fierce political pressure and opposition from pharmacist organizations and drug companies.

"He pushed that at a time when it was complete heresy, when people felt the more [patients] know about drugs, the worse it was for them," said Robert Day, associate dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy. "He was a great leader."

Goyan died Jan. 17 at his home in Kingwood, Texas. He was 76. The cause of death was not immediately known, Day said.

Born Aug. 3, 1930, in Oakland, Goyan received a bachelor's degree in pharmacy in 1952 and his doctorate in pharmaceutical chemistry from UCSF in 1957, when the school was an affiliate campus of UC Berkeley. From 1956 to 1963 he taught at the University of Michigan School of Pharmacy, and in 1963 he joined the faculty of UCSF.

Colleagues credit Goyan with changing the way pharmacy is taught, establishing a pharmacy curriculum dedicated to training pharmacists to be drug therapy specialists, Day said.

Such training, in which pharmacists are taught to consult with patients and advise doctors, contrasted sharply with earlier practices.

"He was truly a visionary," said Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy. "He was bold in his thinking and a very strong proponent of bringing the pharmacist into patient care."

In 1979, during the administration of President Carter, Goyan was tapped to head the FDA.

He took a leave from UCSF to serve as commissioner. Goyan was an outspoken critic of the overmedication of the American public.

"The problem is that most of us have the attitude that we'll go on doing all the things that we like to do: overeat, over smoke -- any smoking of course is over smoking -- and not get enough exercise," he said in a 1980 interview with Business Week. "You do it on the basis of, what the heck, if anything really goes wrong I'll go in and see my physician and he'll give me a medication of some sort and solve the problem."

After his tenure at the FDA ended, Goyan returned to UCSF and served as dean of the pharmacy school until retiring in 1992.

Goyan is survived by his wife, Linda Lloyd Hart, and children Pamela Goyan Kittler of Sunnyvale, Calif.; Terrence Goyan of Fairfax, Calif.; and Andrea Goyan of Burbank.

A memorial service for Goyan will be held on the UCSF campus Feb. 23 at 3 p.m. in Room N225.


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